Dec 03 2012
Peregrine fans, does this photo remind you of someone?
This scene is from Baringo Cliffs, Kenya where a lanner falcon attacked a Verreaux’s eagle and forced it to flip upside down to defend itself.
Lanners are about the size of peregrines and they hate eagles just as much as our peregrines do.
The photographer, Steve Garvie, describes it this way:
“A pair of Lanner Falcons were nesting at one end of the cliffs and this massive female Verreaux’s Eagle drifted into their airspace. The female Lanner took to the air and quickly gained height then she flapped twice twisted onto her side then plunged in a deep stoop striking the circling eagle on the back of the head. The female eagle got a sore one and as the Lanner approached again she flipped upside down and clearly indicated there would be no second chance!”
Half a world away on June 6, 2012, Pitt’s famous peregrine Dorothy saw a bald eagle approach her “cliff” at the Cathedral of Learning. She too flapped a couple of times and then attacked. The bald eagle flipped upside down but it didn’t matter. Dorothy won.
Eagles, whether Verreaux’s or Bald, can’t fly upside down for long. Though Garvie doesn’t say it, I’m sure the lanner drove the eagle away just as Dorothy did at Pitt.
It’s Guess Who Won with an African twist.
(photo by Steve Garvie on Wikimedia Commons. Click on the photo to see the original)